GREENWOOD – Ralph Edward Empson, 84, passed away on Monday (June 14, 2021) at Jones Memorial Hospital.
Mr. Empson was born on April 11, 1937 in North Bingham, Pa. to Jake and Emma (Hamilton) Empson. On November 29, 1958, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rexville, he married Elizabeth (Betty)A. Brown, who survives.
Ralph worked in maintenance for Dresser-Rand in Wellsville for 32 years, retiring in May of 1999. Previously he worked for Chapman and Burrows Furniture in Genesee, Pa., Gibson’s Furniture in Wellsville and finally Antoon’s Furniture, also in Wellsville.
In addition to his wife Betty of 62 years, Ralph is survived by two daughters, Brenda (Ross) Robarts of Wellsville and Beth (Steven) Blitz of Bartow, Fla.; two sons, Ralph (Anja) Empson, Jr. of Bietigheim, Germany and Jay (Kelly) Empson of Alfred Station; a brother, Randall Empson of North Bingham, Pa.; a sister, Sylvia Williams of Painted Post; 14 grandchildren, Joshua Robarts, Zachary Robarts, Jacob Robarts, Sarah Robarts, Eric (Amanda) Blitz, Shawn Blitz, Lisa (John) Sacher, Amber (Cody) Jones, Patricia Empson, Justin Empson, Mandy Empson, Gabriel Empson, Logan-Sage Empson and Aidyn Empson; nine great grandchildren, Adalyn Blitz, Austin Blitz, Alexander Blitz, Brooke Blitz, Luke Blitz, Ella Sacher, Evie Sacher, Alana Jones and Taya Jones; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was predeceased by six sisters, Harlene Lindenmuth, Louise Palyun, Betty Batt, Marjorie Gray, Mary Jordan and Kathleen Empson; and five brothers, Richard Empson, Howard Empson, Harold Empson, Martin Empson and Rudy Empson.
Ralph used his hobbies and handyman skills to spend time with his children. He enjoyed finding old appliances that were being junked, bring them home, strip them down; and storing the parts by model type. He and his son Jay would do service calls for anybody that needed a repair. The standard charge was always $5.00. His rationale was he wanted to make it affordable to all, but not hurt anybody’s feelings by doing it for free. Ralph enjoyed doing puzzles with his daughter Brenda. For family vacations, Ralph would lead the family on camping trips to the Adirondacks and Four Lakes in Scio. They also liked to travel together to Florida and Germany.
Ralph, coming from a family of 13 siblings, learned early the value of hard work and being frugal. Often in his career, he was working two jobs. At other times, with money short, he bartered his handyman skills to provide a used bicycle for his children. He loved his family deeply and passed on many life lessons.
Ralph was a member of Andover Masonic Lodge and the Corning Consistory of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Masonry.
There will be a time of visitation on Thursday (June 17) from 4-6 p.m. and Friday (June 18) from 10-11 a.m. at Baker-Swan Funeral Home in Andover. The funeral service will be held Friday at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home immediately following the visitation with Rev. Christian Mattison of the Andover Presbyterian Church officiating. Burial will follow in Greenwood Cemetery. Online condolences may be offered at www.baker-swan.com. © 2021 Baker-Swan Funeral Home.